Friday, August 3, 2012

Five-point deal is no longer relevant: PM

KATHMANDU, Aug 4: Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai on Friday said that the five-point agreement signed between the major political parties on May 3 is no more relevant following the dissolution the Constituent Assembly (CA).

Talking to a select few media persons at his residence in Baluwatar on Friday, the prime minister also said that the Nepali Congress (NC) will not necessarily be led the new government.

Bhattarai´s remark comes at a time when NC has been staking claim to leadership of the new government as per the five point deal. Major political parties in the five point deal had agreed to allow NC to lead the unity government after finalizing the new constitution.

"Any party can lead the government formed on the basis of political consensus," said Bhattarai, adding that the five point agreement is no more relevant. The prime minister also suggested alternatives to resolve the current political deadlock - reviving the five-point agreement and resolving outstanding issues of the constitution drafting or reinstating the dissolved CA. He was, however, quick to add that there was no possibility of CA reinstatement.

"I don´t see any possibility of reinstating the CA as the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML have backtracked on the issue of federalism," said Bhattarai. Instead, he suggested that the parties could reach a “gentlemen´s agreement” on contentious issues of constitution making and hold a fresh election to the Constituent Assembly. The elected body would complete the remaining tasks of constitution writing within six months and act as parliament for the remaining tenure, he said, adding, “A new date for holding CA polls can be announced through consensus between the political parties.”

The prime minister also expressed his displeasure over recent media reports that have cast him in a negative light. Stating he is not a “power hungry politician” he said he would step down once the political parties reach political consensus.

Bhattarai also informed that the government has already formed a team led by Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar to hold talks with the opposition parties.

Urging the political parties to help implement the 12-point deal, he said, "The country will face a serious crisis if we fail to complete the 12-point deal."

Countering allegations against the government, the prime minister said that government was preparing to introduce law entitling state facilities to former presidents and prime minister only to regulate expenses.

He also expressed displeasure over media reports labeling the government as anti-national for signing Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) with India and preparing to hand over Tribhuwan International Airport management to an Indian company. from Republica

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